TALKING & LISTENING TO GOD

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 

http://www.mainstreetbaptist.org/    http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/

 

I MISS MY WIFE.  I miss talking with her.  Important    Can’t talk to her like I did

        Can’t talk to anyone from home like I did

                – except GOD

        He’s only one from home I can still talk to

Suppose I couldn’t talk to God, either?, no prayer?

 

SHEPHERD doesn’t own sheep, not even own life

        Represents OWNER, working for Him

        Must learn what owner wants – LISTEN to owner!

COMMUNICATE with sheep owner

 

COMMUNICATION:

          -TALKING, RELAYING CONTENT, INFO

          -LISTENING, TAKING IN CONTENT, INFO

 

I. TALKING TO GOD

IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER, esp for shepherd

        If too busy to pray then too busy

GOD NEVER MAKE TOO BUSY TO HAVE TIME TO PRAY!

 

PRAYER NOT PREP FOR BATTLE, PRAYER IS BATTLE

        Won or lost, success or failure depends on prayer life

 

BAKHT SINGH – read biography  (knew him?)

Much prayer, up all night, Holy Convocations (to one?)

 

ELIJAH great man of prayer – if no prayer nothing accomplished  James 5:16-18 

 

JESUS up all night praying – if He needed to do so, how much more us!

 

US  First responsibility is to connect closely with Him, grow spiritually

 


II. LISTENING TO GOD

 

PURPOSE OF PRAYER

NOT to give God information – He knows everything already

NOT to tell God what to do – He knows best what to do

BUT for intimacy, connect , enjoy presence, build relationship

        Can’t build relationship if one person does all the talking

KNOW SOMEONE TALKS ALL TIME,      never listens to you

     WIFE: can’t connect if don’t both talk and listen

Important to be a good listener (husband, pastor, to God)

 

BAKHT SINGHEXAMPLE  – didn’t do all that praying because so much God needed to know – but because HE needed to hear that much from God, what do, say

 

PRAYER  IS TALKING TO GOD LIKE TALKING TO A FRIEND

Talk, listen, talk, listen, Talk, listen, talk, listen

Some times nothing to say, quietly enjoy each other’s presence

 

WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY TO ME MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT I HAVE TO SAY TO HIM

 

A. WHAT DOES GOD’S VOICE SOUND LIKE?

 

Gentle Whisper (still, small voice)  1 Kings 19:11-13

STILL, SMALL VOICE

deep down inside impression, just ‘know’ it is from God

ME: day before wedding decline to marry people

 

NOT verbal voice, sensational or emotional experience

        Very easy to overlook, think just our own thought,

TAKES TIME to recognize it

        When know it well can recognize little things

        Like recognize wife’s voice, little thing sin inflection

 

Won’t shout, force – just whispers to us, up to us to follow

ME: people not witnessed to when told to

        DALLAS when working with architect

 

in pain, hurt – magnifies His voice so listen better, hear clearer – Job

B. HOW DO WE HEAR HIS VOICE

 

      1. MIND: Inspired Thoughts  John 2:22; 14:26

Sudden idea in mind – ‘feels’ right, know it is truth

Thought that almost seems like our own thought, but isn’t

Different perspective, attitude to someone, something

Bring something to mind from past

 

ME: WISDOM when setting up sermons & lessons,

        INSIGHT when counseling

        PASTORS CONFERENCES in India, special prayer

        Western PA churches call for me to come, not know

        LOOSE KEYS, all of a sudden find/remember

                                                

      2. EMOTIONS: Burning HeartLuke 24:32  Ps 39:1-3 

JOHN WESLEY: “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” 

Can’t trust feelings, but this feeling different than other feelings

        Learn to recognize God’s Spirit moving, stirring heart

Something feels right

Deep burden to do something

Great peace and ‘rightness’ about it

 

ME: to INDIA and back to India

 

C. WHAT DOES GOD’S VOICE SAY?

What can we expect to hear from God?

What sort of things does He communicate?

 

       1. Conviction

 

              a. Of need of salvation  John 16:7-11 

FIRST TIME God speaks to most people, conviction of sin to

        To me, salvation watching Billy Graham on TV

FREE WILL CHOICE in how man responds to God’s conviction

 

              b. Of sin in life after salvation  Ps 139:23-24  

OFTEN WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR

People tendency to listen only to what they want to listen to…
ME: Holy Spirit convicts inside of sin before, after do it

2. Information, Guidance  John 10:4, 16, 27

Acts 20:22-23 Luke 2:25-28  Mark 2:8  Acts 9:11-15 

EXAMPLES:  Joseph heard Pharaoh’s dream, knows interpret

Daniel hears Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, knows the interpret

 

ME: Listen to God in spiritual warfare – how to proceed,

Listen to God in counseling – what to ask, challenge,

Listen to God in preaching – sermon prep, focus, MI,

        INSIGHT – God reveals new meaning in a passage

ASK God for help, guidance, direction when needed

        Then LISTEN for answer

 

       3. Encouragement, Peace  Phil 4:6-7  

Strength, comfort, encouragement

 

MSBC: God give peace about size, finances, future, etc

        Passages, songs abut perseverance, faithfulness

PEACE = FRUIT OF HOLY SPIRIT

 

       4. Enablement in Ministry

CALL TO MINISTRY – Paul (I Tim 1:12; 2:6-7)

WHAT TO SAY when words needed – Moses (Exodus 4:10-12)

 

ALL: witness or counsel and right words just pour out!

        Scripture passage, right answer when needed

USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS  (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

ME:  teaching & counseling

        Pastor role of leading sheep

 

       5. Revelation of Himself = Worship

Praise, worship response to His greatness spoken to our spirits

Enjoy His presence, fellowship

New idea, revelation about God’s person

Waves of appreciation, praise, worship sweep over me

 

KEY – listen, pay attention

God will do things to get your attention so listen!

He will allow situations to come into life where need Him

        So spend time quietly with Him listening

D, HOW DOES GOD GET MY ATTENTION?

 

1. UNSETTLED SPIRIT  Est 6:1 king couldn’t sleep

 

2. UNSOLICITED WORD FROM ANOTHER PERSON

2 Samuel 12:1  Nathan to David

 

3. UNUSUAL EVENT  1 Cor 12:29-30 sickness

 

4. UNANSWERED PRAYER

sometimes have great need and heavens seem SILENT

makes us more desperate to hear, listen all the closer

 

E. HOW CAN I GOD’S VOICE FROM SATAN’S?

 

1. CHRIST CONVICTS – SATAN CONDEMNS 

Christ – feel guilty and sinful but loved anyway

Satan – feel guilty and sinful, also rejected by God

 

JESUS FORGIVES (focus on restoration)  

John 8:10-11  “Neither do I condemn you” 

SATAN ACCUSES (focus on the guilt) 

Revelation 12:10 “Accuser of the brethren”

 

2. CHRIST CLARIFIES – SATAN CONFUSES

 

Christ – clearly see sin in its true, deadly light

   Takes away the deception and ‘pleasure’ of it

   Reveals deadliness, awfulness of the sin itself

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like

 

Satan – perplex us with worldly logic and explanations

   Wrong, but justifiable, not all that wrong, good reason for it… 

James 3:15 Such “wisdom” does not come

 


3. CHRIST CONFIRMS – SATAN CONTRADICTS 

 

Christ – ‘agree’ with what God telling us inside, Spirit agrees, what others have said agrees,         Agrees with word of God

Phil 4:8-9  whatever is true, right, pure, etc

 

Satan – doesn’t agree with Bible, advice of others, etc. 

        Blinded to it by own wanting it to happen

        Convinced we are exception, can break God’s law

 

4. CHRIST CHOOSES – SATAN CAPTURES

 

Christ – brings us into freedom, no strings attached

        You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

 

Satan – brings bondage, captures us, can’t let go, end up in bondage  2 Timothy 2:26 ‘escape the trap of the devil’

 

5. CHRIST CONSTRAINS – SATAN CONSTRICTS 

 

Christ – draws us for positive reason, love, etc

2 Corinthians 5:14 Christ’s love compels

 

Satan – constricts, limits, makes feel hopeless and ineffective, discourages

 

CONCLUSION

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice. The young man could not help but wonder “Does God still speak to people?” After service, he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God… If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.” As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He did not get a reply and started on toward home.  But again, his thought still reminds him to buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he did not recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. ”Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It did not seem like too hard a test of obedience.  He could always use the milk.  He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started toward home. As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, “Turn down that street.”

 

This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said aloud, “Okay, God, I will”.

 

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It was not the best but it was not the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.  Again, he sensed something, “Go, and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.”

 

The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. “Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.” Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door, and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.” He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it?


What do you want?” Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he did not seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. “What is it?” The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.” The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying.

 

The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half-crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We did not have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.” His wife in the kitchen yelled outs, “I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?” The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man’s hand.  He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.  He knew that God still answers prayers.

 

 

KNEEL

        servant attitude, position

        affirm faith

        “Whatever YOU want, God, I’ll do.”

 

PRAY SILENTLY

        learn to LISTEN to Him

        recommit self to LOVE relationship

        Ask God what HE wants

        tell Him willing no matter what

                or at least willing to be willing

 

 

 

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
| ChristianTrainingOnline.org
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